Archery: Where can you Practice?


You have your brand new bow, the sun is shining, but you have no place to shoot. You can still practice your archery right there at home. Alternatively, you can visit some traditional spots as well mentioned right here. If you do have a local archery range nearby, it should be your number one spot. Many archery ranges offer you a small lane with a minimal fee per hour or even a block of hours as well. The majority of them are affordable, and you find a local one near you.

Turn Your Backyard into a Target Shooting Range

If you do not live close to a local archery range, you can turn your backyard into one and make it fun. You can make a backyard range in the city or rural area and makes it more accessible for you to practice. However, you do need to consider the following:

Check Your Local Regulations Out

Can you discharge a weapon inside your property? The question is essential, as many communities do not allow it. You can do this by visiting your local town hall, or you can contact law-enforcement to find out. They will help you find a suitable place to practice if not allowed. Alternatively, if allowed you need to create a safe space when setting it up.

You Have the Go Ahead-Start Building a Backstop

You first need to build a backstop to catch the arrows. The item is a critical part of any archery range. With fixture will stop the arrows from flying into the neighbor’s yard or damaging your property. You can use hay bales by stacking them five feet tall by five feet wide. Another fantastic material to use is plywood or compressed foam plastic and last longer. Always follow the safety rules to make it remain fun.

Steps in Constructing a Backstop

Before you start practicing your archery skills, you need to create a path to your target for firing shots. The most important part of the range is the backstop as mentioned it stops the arrows from passing through to the neighbors. You can make one as follow:

  1. Get bay hales and stack them 6 feet high and 6 feet wide and is affordable to do. Furthermore, it is useful if you stay in rural areas.
  2. For populated towns and hay-bales are not an option you can use thick plywood or a double layer of ⅜ or ½ inch wood. This backstop is simpler to move from outside to inside. You can even use it during winter in the basement or garage if you do not have space.
  3. Another backdrop that also works well is compressed plastic foam. You can use a couple of the compressed plastic foam stacked behind the target.

No matter what material you use, make sure it stops the arrow when traveling at high-speed.

Decide on Your Target

There are two types of targets a foam block or bags. Using bag targets are lightweight and removing the arrow is easy. Bag targets offer you two-sided shooting and do not last that long. Try to prevent using large block models, as they are heavy and awkward to haul around. For shooting broadheads, the best options to use a foam model as it is long-lasting. For low poundage gear, target points, and field-points you can use a bag model instead.

Make it Fun for Everyone

For backyard archery, you can find different targets with game faces and great for friendly contests between friends at home. You can play various games from tic-tac-toe to archery baseball.

Therefore, no matter where you live, you can make your archery range in the comfort of your home. Turn your backyard, garage, or basement into one today.

Check out my other page about the best archery gear here

Other Places to Practice Archery

If you cannot create a space at home to practice your shots, you can visit some of these places:

Local Archery Shop

You can find a few indoor shooting lanes at a local archery shop. In most cases, they have one for potential archers to try out the equipment before buying. If you are lucky, your local archery shop may even have a full indoor range for you to practice.

You can find laid-back archery ranges with only a couple of archers hanging out. If you happen to have one of these close by you are in luck. The archery range offers you the best setting to hang out with others and sometimes it is free.

Alternatively, if you do not, then talk to the archery shop in the vicinity and offer them a fee for using the shooting lane.

Archery Clubs

All across the country, you can find archery clubs with indoor shooting ranges. Sometimes you can find 3D archery shoots at these clubs throughout the year. You can search for local archery to 3D archery clubs in your area online. The 3D archery club is smaller offering you a place to improve your shooting skills.

archery club

High Schools, Colleges, and Universities

Check your local high schools out as some may have an archery program at the school. You may be lucky that they have a facility you can use. In most cases, you will most likely shoot at night or at weekends. Alternatively, if they do not have one, you can always ask for permission to use one of the fields for practice. The same applies to colleges and universities as some of them have excellent facilities for archery.

A City or Town Park

Now do not start packing your bow and head to your nearest park. Contact your local municipality first and find out. If permitted, always keep safety in mind. You need to be diligent and ask around before shooting at one of them.

Public Hunting Spots

In the majority of states, you can find a public hunting spot for practicing your archery and fishing. However, you need to check it out first to make sure you are permitted to shoot your bow in the area. Always consider safety when shooting on recreational land. You need to be on the lookout for shooters, hunters, hikers and more all the time.

Outdoor Gun Range

You can find many outdoor gun ranges in the vicinity and offers you a laid-back setting to fire some arrows. You may find local families offering up their shooting range to share with others in the area. You can always contact them and donate to use the place. Look online for “your town shooting range” you may be surprised.

Going to an Archery Range

Now that you have found a place to start, practicing with shooting your bow and arrow it is time to get involved with others. So how do you do this? By doing the following:

  • Group Lessons – take part in a private or group lesson. Group lessons are affordable and are a great way to find out if the activities made for you without committing. Instead of buying archery gear, you can rent the equipment until you can afford to buy your own. For information, you can contact your local archery shop.
  • Archery Programs – you can find different archery programs in the area from Explore Archery, NASP, Junior Olympic Archery Development, Olympic Archery in Schools, and more. Each of the plans offers you instructions on how to get involved in archery. Whether you are young or old, each program caters for different ages to master the art of archery.
  • Indoor Archery – offers you all year round practice from dusk to dawn. You can find one at your local archery shop or club. However, expect to pay a fee, and you will find professional archers to help.

Practice Shooting Your Bow Without a Range

Maybe your archery range is only accessible by car, or perhaps you have no public transport nearby. So how do you practice your archery? You can do it at home without using a shooting range. The best practice for shooting your arrows is not to shoot at anything. You will only be using your bow and not the bolts.

To do this, you need a nifty gadget called the Training Band allowing you to exercise your shooting muscles not to lose ability when executing a shot. You need one that fully mimics the full tensile force and weight of your bow. Many of these bands come in sets of two.

One you can use to enhance your pull to develop the muscles in the shoulder. The other band will help to improve your posture by anchoring it to your foot. You will be surprised at how well they work to enhance your style and shooting strength. Alternatively, if you do not want to spend money, you can use your bow as your exercise device.

All you need to do is:

  • Set up the bow as usual but do not load it with an arrow
  • Get a paper target and stick it on a wall
  • Stand a firm distance away from the goal and pick up your bow
  • Anchor your draw and use your bow sight if you use one and aim at the target for up to five seconds while drawing normally
  • Slow release the tension and bring your bow back to its normal position

You can repeat doing this for up to twelve times for about five minutes at a time. Also, remember never to dry fire your bow, as it will damage the string and limbs. Furthermore, it will cause cracks and splinter in the riser as well.

Archery Drills to Improve Your Accuracy

Whether you do bowhunting to target shooting, you need to stay in practice no matter where you shoot. However, if you want to get in the best drill, you need to visit a 3-D course to improve your confidence.

Blind Baling

You make shots at a target with no target on it with your eyes closed. With the drill, you concentrate on keeping your feet apart the proper way. Furthermore, you place your hands relaxed on the bow handle and draw smoothly to find the exact anchor point every time. Eventually, you get a twitch-free release. Your whole focuses on perfecting your form. To do the drill you need to be close to the empty target butt, draw back the string and close your eyes.

Long Distance Shooting

For practicing long-distance shots, you need to pull your arrow one inch to the left when standing 20-yards. With this drill, it helps to tighten your form. By practicing, you will eventually hit the mark at 60-yards.

Aim Small

Shoot at a series of pie plates by drawing circles in different sizes on them. Once you shoot perfect shots at the bigger circle, you can switch the plates out with a smaller one to help tighten your grouping. You can start at 20-yards and move back out to 40-yards. Furthermore, try to mix up your practice sessions by shooting around on different sized plates. You can even place them in clock form and shoot around from 1 to 12 by shooting above then converting to a shot beneath or vice versa.

Final Thoughts

There is no reason for you not to practice your archery skills if you do not have a shooting range. We hope that the information provided helps you to find a suitable place to stay in shape when practicing archery. Whether you are shooting indoors or outdoors at the range or home, we are sure you will find the right place to improve your archery skills.

With all the information provided from where you can go practice to the drills, you can build confidence when you draw your bow out on the target range or in a tree stand. Prevent shooting solely at the bullseye as it will cause target panic and you will become dependent strictly on the circle as your aiming point.

For practicing shooting at a deer, you may want to exercise your aim at a shadow line of an animal. Therefore, work on your training drills and find a suitable place for you to practice your archery skills.


I'm Isaac Murphy and at the moment I am a student. I took up archery as a hobby about 3 years ago and built this blog to share some of the things I have learned and to help those starting out in this sport. Check out my bio here

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